Tablet shipment growth is likely to slow to 22.2 percent in 2014 to 270.5 million units, said IDC.
IDC says the global tablet market size will grow 53.5 percent to 221.3 million units in 2013. In fact, the market research agency lowered from its earlier forecast of 227.4 million.
By 2017, annual market growth will slow to single-digit percentages and shipments will peak at 386.3 million units.
According to IDC, one key factor to watch going forward is the mix of small vs. large tablets. The market has trended toward small tablets in a big way over the last 24 months, but the rise of large phones could well push consumers back toward larger tablets as the difference between a 6-inch smartphone and a 7-inch tablet isn’t great enough to warrant purchasing both.
Apple’s launch of the iPad Air, a much thinner and lighter version of its 9.7-inch product, could herald another market transition back toward larger screens, presuming consumers are willing to pay the higher costs associated with bigger screens.
IDC says a transition toward larger tablets could be a positive development for Windows tablets, which generally benefit from a larger screen area. Windows-based tablets are not expected to steal share from tablets running iOS and Android until the latter part of the forecast.
Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst, Worldwide Tablet Tracker, said though there have been some relatively high-profile launches from the likes of Dell, HP, and Lenovo, the industry is yet to see widespread availability of these devices, making it difficult for Windows to gain share during this crucial period.
Tablet OS Market Share, 2012 – 2017
|Tablet OS||2012 Market
|Android||52.0 percent||60.8 percent||58.8 percent|
|iOS||45.6 percent||35.0 percent||30.6 percent|
|Windows||0.9 percent||3.4 percent||10.2 percent|
|Other||1.4 percent||0.8 percent||0.4 percent|
|Grand Total||100.0 percent||100.0 percent||100.0 percent|
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, December 2013